Illinois Public Media News


AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 06, 2012

NIU: Police Investigating Secret Fund

Northern Illinois University officials are investigating reports of an alleged secret bank account channeling thousands of dollars to several university workers.

NIU employees working at a campus physical plant allegedly sold scrap metal to a local company, which would write checks to an account known as the "coffee fund.'' University spokesman Paul Palian said the university's police department is looking into the matter:

"There is currently an investigation underway," Palian said. "It was launched Friday afternoon."

Electronic records show checks from the DeKalb Iron and Metal Company to the fund have totaled more than $13,000 dollars since 2005.

School officials say they have no record of such a fund.

A spokesperson for DeKalb Iron and Metal Company could not be reached.

Categories: Criminal Justice
Tags: crime

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 06, 2012

Governor Amps Up Pressure to Overhaul Pensions

Gov. Pat Quinn is warning of dire financial consequences for school districts unless lawmakers overhaul Illinois' pension systems.

The Chicago Democrat supports a plan to make suburban and downstate school districts pay their own retirement costs, which the state currently pays.

Republicans have objected and claim it'll burden schools and increase property taxes.

Quinn's office released figures yesterday, claiming Illinois' unfunded liability is increasing so fast that it'll cost school districts more in the long run because lawmakers will have to slash education funding.

Quinn's office estimates that under the shift plan schools would pay $49 million in new pension costs for the 2014 fiscal year. Without reforms, those same districts would see their budgets slashed by $152 million.

He's called an Aug. 17 special session to deal with pensions.

Categories: Economics, Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 06, 2012

Dickson Sworn in as Indiana’s Chief Justice

Longtime Indiana Supreme Court Justice Brent Dickson has been formally sworn in as the state's first new chief justice since 1987.

The 71-year-old Dickson is the longest-serving current member of the five-member Supreme Court and became the acting chief justice when Randall Shepard retired in March. He was sworn as chief justice by Gov. Mitch Daniels during a Statehouse ceremony on Monday.

Dickson takes over a court in transition. After 10 years of no changes, the court has its third vacancy in the past two years.

Dickson was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986 by Republican Gov. Robert Orr. Dickson will reach the court's mandatory retirement age of 75 in July 2016, before his five-year term as chief justice ends.

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Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 05, 2012

Senator Kirk Releases Video on Recovery from Stroke

Sen. Kirk Releases Video on Recovery from Stroke
Sen. Kirk Releases Video on Recovery from Stroke

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has released a second video message detailing his recovery after a January stroke, saying he's in contact with his office several times a day and has climbed 145 flights of stairs.

The three-minute video was released Sunday. It's his second since he began rehabilitation.

The video shows scenes of the Republican senator walking up stairs with help and speaking from his Fort Sheridan home. His office says he recently completed a 9-week mobility study at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. During the study he walked nearly 15 miles and climbed stairs.

In the video, Kirk says he's in touch with his office several times daily and is helping Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin find a replacement for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald who's announced his resignation.


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - August 01, 2012

Neighbors: Habeeb Habeeb

Illinois Public Media’s Neighbors series is designed to introduce us all to our neighbors here in east central Illinois. If you have an interesting neighbor you think we should know about, tell us – you can e-mail us at willnewsroom@illinois.edu.

By Sean Powers

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(Duration: 4:32)

The Habeeb family

In recent months, you may have heard the name Habeeb Habeeb, in news stories about Illinois’ 13th district congressional race. As the Republican Party Chairman for Champaign County, he had a role in identifying Rodney Davis as the GOP candidate to replace retiring Congressman Tim Johnson. Habeeb is a self-described “average U.S. citizen who’s very passionate and just happens to be involved in politics.” But there’s more to his story, as Illinois Public Media’s Sean Powers reports in the latest installment of our continuing “Neighbors” series profiling your fellow neighbors in east central Illinois.


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